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Daniel Dennett's Most Useful Critical Thinking Tools

https://fs.blog/2016/07/dan-dannetts-thinking-tools/

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Daniel Dennett's Most Useful Critical Thinking Tools
We recently discussed some wonderful mental tools from the great Richard Feynman. Let's get some more good ones from another giant, Daniel Dennett. Dennett is one of the great thinkers in the world; he's been at the forefront of cognitive science and evolutionary science for over 50 years, trying to figure out how the mind works and why we believe the things we believe.

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Bruce Lee

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Making mistakes

Mistakes are opportunities for learning and for creating something truly new.

And the trick for making good mistakes is not trying to hide them. Be honest with yourself and really know your own mistakes, so that you learn from them and that you'll never repeat them.

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Reductio ad absurdum

It's a mode of argumentation or a form of argument in which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd conclusion. 

Take an assertion and see if you can inquire about any contradictions out of it. If you can, that proposition has to be discarded.

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A successful critical commentary

  1. Re-express your target’s position so clearly and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
  2. List any points of agreement.
  3. Mention anything that you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

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Occam’s Razor

The main idea: Don't fabricate a complicated theory when you have a simpler one that handles a phenomenon just as well.

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Occam’s Broom

It describes the process in which inconvenient facts are whisked under the rug by intellectually dishonest champions of one theory or another.

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Jootsing

It stands for “jumping out of the system.”It can be applied to science, philosophy, and arts.

Being creative is not about searching for something new, but about making the novelty jump out of some system, a system that has become somewhat established, for good reasons.

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The “Surely” Operator

Often the world “surely” is as good as a blinking light in locating a weak point in the argument.

Because it marks the very edge of what the author is actually sure about and hopes readers will also be sure about

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We can use this same model to learn new concepts.

“In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of sc...

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Richard Feynman